Dove-nominated artist, Riley Harrison Clark
, has been a member of the award-winning Southern Gospel group, Tribute Quartet for close to ten years and now, the tenor is branching out on his own with his debut solo project, Welcome To Me
. The album features songs that are a reflection of his moving testimony that will inspire people from all walks of life.
"Nearly three years ago, I was given the opportunity to begin a dream of mine in creating a solo project, explains Riley. "However, as I began to prepare for it, my wife and I began praying and didn't quite feel it was time. Little did I know we were about to walk through some of the hardest moments of our lives. Uncovering pain and hurt from my childhood as well as being thrown many new 'issues,' life simply made a big switch. As time went on, we realized why we felt the need to hold off on creating what I wanted to be my 'voice' to my fans, friends and all those around me. Jumping ahead about two years from when life seemed to be falling apart, I was once again approached about creating a solo album. Once again, we prayed, and God, as He did the first time, spoke. It was time. The struggles and pain I had experienced were about to be used in a way that I could barely dream about and it was going to be done through a solo project that would later be titled 'Welcome To Me.'"
"I am so grateful for the opportunity to do this," continues Riley. "I believe this album will be one that encourages, challenges, uplifts and speaks to all that listens to it. All in all, I just want the listener to see hope and the love of God."
We asked Riley to share the inspirations behind each track on his debut solo album. Here are his answers.
"Glory To Glory"
When we began writing for this project I knew I wanted a couple of vertical songs, songs that simply deliver praise to God for all He is and all He does. I also wanted to pay tribute to one of my favorite singers, Larnell Harris, both stylistically and vocally. I believe we did just that with this song.
"Welcome To Me"
The title track for this project couldn't be anything other than this song. My sole purpose in creating this project was to let everyone know that I too have been through some hard days. I have felt pain and been broken. However, in turn, I have also felt God's love carry me through all of that. He has shown me that it's not what I can do or become as much as it is simply accepting Him for what He has done and became for me.
This is a favorite by most that have heard the project. Stylistically it is a bit out of the box for me but I like to push myself and to do that while being reminded of God's faithfulness is a great combination for productivity I think.
In a writing session with Joel Lindsey and Jeff Bumgardner, I began to express my heart for following the Lord both in my personal life and in my ministry. Unbeknownst to me, they were taking notes. Out of those notes came this song.
"You Will Be Found"
The brilliant producer of this project, Wayne Haun, brought this song to my attention. It happens to be one of my favorites on this project. A message and style that can be accepted and related to by all. Feeling you are all alone in your situation has got to be one of the hardest things to deal with. As a matter of fact, I believe that is where the majority of people stop and struggle the rest of their lives, simply because they are unwilling to reach out for fear of being condemned or shut out. There is healing in understanding that there are people out there waiting to help you.
"Running Down My Fear"
This was the first song specifically written for the project. After the hook of this song, "I'm running down my fear and showing it my faith,"
became a motto of mine through the year previous to recording the project I only felt it a perfect picture to paint on this album. Why run from our fear when what we can put our faith in is so much bigger?
"Then He Opened His Arms"
God loves us. Beyond anything we could ever do, He loves us. We would still be lost had He not gave His son to die on the cross that day. I am so thankful He opened His arms to me.
"One With You"
I simply want to be used by God to help the hurting and desperate in this world. I want my music and testimony to be an encouragement to all the world. The only way I can accomplish this is to be one with Him. The greatest desire for us as children should be to have a life that reflects who He is in order to make a positive difference in the lives around us. I want my life to be one with His.
"Remember His Faithfulness"
Have I mentioned that arguably the greatest assurance we have as children of God is that He is still alive therefore everything He has ever promised to us will be granted. His faithfulness is at the top of that list. Everyone reading this has a moment in which they know God stepped in and because of that you saw God in all His glory be more than faithful to you. At the moment you are weary and feeling that your answer or resolution may never come, I challenge you to always remember that God was faithful in those times. Know without a doubt He hasn't failed you yet and won't start now. I challenge you to remember His faithfulness.